New English Translation
135 Praise the Lord.
Praise the name of the Lord.
Offer praise, you servants of the Lord,
2 who serve[b] in the Lord’s temple,
in the courts of the temple of our God.
3 Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good.
Sing praises to his name, for it is pleasant.[c]
4 Indeed,[d] the Lord has chosen Jacob for himself,
Israel to be his special possession.[e]
5 Yes,[f] I know the Lord is great,
and our Lord is superior to all gods.
6 He does whatever he pleases
in heaven and on earth,
in the seas and all the ocean depths.
7 He causes the clouds to arise from the end of the earth,
makes lightning bolts accompany the rain,
and brings the wind out of his storehouses.
8 He struck down the firstborn of Egypt,
including both men and animals.
9 He performed awesome deeds[g] and acts of judgment[h]
in your midst, O Egypt,
against Pharaoh and all his servants.
10 He defeated many nations,
and killed mighty kings—
11 Sihon, king of the Amorites,
and Og, king of Bashan,
and all the kingdoms of Canaan.
12 He gave their land as an inheritance,
as an inheritance to Israel his people.
13 O Lord, your name endures,[i]
your reputation, O Lord, lasts.[j]
14 For the Lord vindicates[k] his people,
and has compassion on his servants.[l]
15 The nations’ idols are made of silver and gold;
they are man-made.[m]
16 They have mouths, but cannot speak,
eyes, but cannot see,
17 and ears, but cannot hear.
Indeed, they cannot breathe.[n]
18 Those who make them will end up[o] like them,
as will everyone who trusts in them.
19 O family[p] of Israel, praise the Lord.
O family of Aaron, praise the Lord.
20 O family of Levi, praise the Lord.
You loyal followers[q] of the Lord, praise the Lord.
21 The Lord deserves praise in Zion[r]—
he who dwells in Jerusalem.
Praise the Lord.
- Psalm 135:1 sn Psalm 135. The psalmist urges God’s people to praise him because he is the incomparable God and ruler of the world who has accomplished great things for Israel.
- Psalm 135:2 tn Heb “stand.”
- Psalm 135:3 tn Heb “for [it is] pleasant.” The translation assumes that it is the Lord’s “name” that is pleasant. Another option is to understand the referent of “it” as the act of praising (see Ps 147:1).
- Psalm 135:4 tn Or “for.”
- Psalm 135:4 sn His special possession. The language echoes Exod 19:5; Deut 7:6; 14:2; 26:18. See also Mal 3:17.
- Psalm 135:5 tn Or “for.”
- Psalm 135:9 tn Or “signs” (see Ps 65:8).
- Psalm 135:9 tn Or “portents”; “omens” (see Ps 71:7). The Egyptian plagues are alluded to here.
- Psalm 135:13 tn Or “is forever.”
- Psalm 135:13 tn Heb “O Lord, your remembrance [is] for a generation and a generation.” See Ps 102:12.
- Psalm 135:14 tn Heb “judges,” but here the idea is that the Lord “judges on behalf of” his people. The imperfect verbal forms here and in the next line draw attention to the Lord’s characteristic actions.
- Psalm 135:14 sn Verse 14 echoes Deut 32:36, where Moses affirms that God mercifully relents from fully judging his wayward people.
- Psalm 135:15 tn Heb “the work of the hands of man.”
- Psalm 135:17 tn Heb “indeed, there is not breath in their mouth.” For the collocation אַף אֵין (ʾaf ʾen, “indeed, there is not”) see Isa 41:26. Another option is to take אַף as “nose” (see Ps 115:6), in which case one might translate, “a nose, [but] they have no breath in their mouths.”
- Psalm 135:18 tn Heb “will be.” Another option is to take the prefixed verbal form as a prayer, “may those who make them end up like them.” sn Because the idols are lifeless, they cannot help their worshipers in times of crisis. Consequently the worshipers end up as dead as the gods in which they trust.
- Psalm 135:19 tn Heb “house” (here and in the next two lines).
- Psalm 135:20 tn Heb “fearers.”
- Psalm 135:21 tn Heb “praised be the Lord from Zion.”